April 26, 2013 / 4:00 AM / 5 years ago

FOREX-Dollar slips vs yen on profit-taking, Japan exporters

* Traders cite talk of yen-buying by Japanese exporters

* Profit-talking also weighs on dlr/yen, stops add to decline

* Dollar/yen resistance at 100 yen still formidable

* No new policy initiatives expected from BOJ meeting

* Pound near two-month high after UK GDP

By Masayuki Kitano and Hideyuki Sano

SINGAPORE/TOKYO, April 26 (Reuters) - The dollar fell versus the yen on Friday, pulling away from a four-year high struck earlier this month, with traders citing profit-taking and yen-buying by Japanese exporters as currency markets turned their attention to the outcome of the Bank of Japan policy review.

Japanese exporters apparently sold the dollar ahead of their “Golden Week” holidays next week, said a trader for a Japanese bank in Singapore, adding that they appeared more active than usual.

“There is talk that (yen-buying) needs from Japanese exporters have been spotted all over the place,” he said.

The dollar eased 0.3 percent to 98.94 yen, edging away from a four-year high of 99.95 yen tapped earlier in April after the Bank of Japan unveiled its drastic monetary stimulus.

A Tokyo-based trader for a European bank said Japanese exporters were also said to have sold the euro versus the yen.

The euro sagged 0.2 percent to 128.96 yen.

Other traders cited profit-taking in the dollar, which has gained roughly 14 percent versus the yen this year, as well as stop-loss selling of the greenback.

While the market is focused on a Bank of Japan policy meeting on Friday, most players doubt it will provide fresh catalysts for the yen to weaken further.

No new policy initiatives are likely from the BOJ after it unveiled a sweeping two-year bond buying scheme at its previous meeting on April 4. It is expected to project inflation to rise to its targeted two percent in two years in an economic outlook report.

“The BOJ’s easing will continue for two years but that doesn’t necessary mean the yen will always weaken in the next two years,” said Daisuke Uno, chief strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui Bank.

“It’s been almost six months since the yen started weakening so if upcoming U.S. data, such as payrolls data, is weak, the market’s focus could move away from BOJ easing,” he said.

The 100 yen threshold has proved to be a formidable resistance level for the dollar in the past couple of weeks, with selling emerging from players hedging their barrier option positions as well as from Japanese exporters when the level was approached.

But some market players think 100 yen will be broken soon, as some of these barrier options are said to be expiring this week, and as selling from Japanese exporters could subside during a string of Japanese holidays next week.

“Some people may try to lift the dollar next week, when the market will likely be thin,” said Bart Wakabayashi, head of forex at State Street.

Others think the dollar’s rally may soon run out of steam, noting that it has failed to break 100 so far despite a surfeit of bullish predictions.

The market will be looking to U.S. GDP data later on Friday. The closely watched U.S. jobs data is due on May 3.

The euro edged up 0.2 percent to $1.3035, inching away from a near-three-week low of $1.2954 hit on Wednesday.

Growing expectations that the European Central Bank may cut rates next month to support the euro zone’s moribund economy have kept a lid on the euro, which has retreated since hitting a high near $1.3200 last week.

The British pound held firm after hitting a two-month high on Thursday on better-than-expected UK growth data. Sterling rose 0.2 percent to $1.5458, near Thursday’s high of $1.5480.

Britain avoided recession in the first quarter, wrong-footing some bearish investors, who had expected a weak number that would push sterling lower. The data watered down expectations that the Bank of England will add to its asset-buying program to underpin the economy.

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